Save lives, from the workplace to anyplace.
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate.We focus on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
Have questions? Visit our FAQs or contact NSC.
Drug overdose is now the No. 1 cause of unintentional death in the United States. In 2018, over 67,000 people died from drug overdoses. The main driver of these deaths is opioids – including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl and its analogues.
People who take prescribed opioids, even as directed, may build up a tolerance. When pain has subsided, some people find it easy to stop taking them and others find it harder to quit. Some people who find it harder to quit may continue to take opioids for longer than necessary, or may develop an opioid use disorder. Over 50% percent of people who have misused prescription opioids reported getting them from friends or relatives. Most people don't even know that sharing opioids is a felony.
People who take opioid pain relievers for too long or in doses too large are more at risk of developing an opioid use disorder and more likely to die of drug overdose. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9.9 million people ages 12 and older misused prescription opioids in 2018, and an estimated 2 million people had an opioid use disorder.
Prescribed to Death Memorial.
National Safety Council provides answers for families, resources for employers and prescribers, and information to help keep you safe at home and in your community:
The term “opioid” includes both prescription pain relievers (Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, etc.) and illicit drugs (heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, etc.). Some of these substances are derived from the poppy plant (natural or semisynthetic opioids), while others are fully synthetic (they don’t occur naturally).
The most recent data (from 2017) shows us that:
Receive email updates on preventing prescription drug misuse and overdose. Learn how you can join this initiative to save lives.
A map honoring those lost to opioid misuse.
Get the Opioids at Work Employer Toolkit.
Our Mission is Safety
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.